EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been a chaotic 24 hours in Washington. Former Speaker of The House Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his leadership position Tuesday afternoon.
This is the first time in U.S. history that a permanent speaker has been removed.
“It was certainly a historic day but for all the wrong reasons,” said Rep. Dan Meuser, 9th district.
After Speaker of The House, Kevin McCarthy passed bipartisan spending legislation and narrowly avoided a government shutdown. Eight hard-right Republicans joined forces with Democrats to remove McCarthy from his position Tuesday evening.
“The political bomb throwing in Washington is so bad now that we just did something that has never happened before in the history of our republic,” says Rep. Matt Cartwright, 8th district
A sitting speaker was thrown out in the middle of his term after failing to appease the far-right members of the house in government spending negotiations.
“I think actually it was destructive, not constructive but there we are. those were the rules and we have to move forward,” added Rep. Meuser.
The effort was led by Florida republican representative Matt Gaetz.
“There was a change back to original procedures in the house. it only took one member of the house to vacate the speakership. and Matt Gaetz utilized that in this case,” explained David Sosar, professor emeritus, King’s College political science.
Representative Patrick Mchenry of North Carolina has taken over as the interim speaker but, house operations are halted until a new permanent speaker is elected. McCarthy has said he does not plan to run again but, that does not mean he can’t be nominated. Republicans from the house are set to vote on a new speaker next week.
“The only thing that we should be concerned about is if they’re not able to get a member elected on the first ballot, whoever that may be, this could drag on, and that’s the fear. if it drags on for days and weeks it could be very damaging to the republicans,” continued Sosar.
Now professor Sosar also says that because the parties are so close in numbers in the House of Representatives whoever is nominated can only afford to lose four votes amongst republicans.
If that number goes higher than four the nominee cannot be named speaker and it will take longer to elect someone new. House majority leader Steve Scalise has already announced his run for speakership.